215 kms / 2516 mts of elevation / 95% tarmac
Free train in Lux !
Attention ! New bicycle trip trick for bicycle-train mixers: cycling close to Luxembourg ? From bordering countries such as Belgium, Germany or France? Well now you could extend your trip beyond the national borders for no extra cost... Expand your horizon :), trains and public transport in Luxembourg are completely free. Yes to that!
We took the RAVeL Gouvy to Bastogne. Wait... what is a RAVeL ?
We took the train from Brussels to the south, to the Belgian town of Gouvy, right before the border with Luxembourg. From there we started cycling south-west on a RAVeL, direction Bastogne. RAVeL stands for "Réseau Autonome des Voies Lentes" in french, and it's the name they give in the region of Wallonia (south of Belgium) to the inter-province network of cycle-paths. These paths are generally easy to ride and well maintained, they've been built over old train tracks no longer in use. It's common to pass through old train tunnels, bridges or see the old train stations.
Bastogne to Wiltz
After Bastogne we cycled into Luxembourg, direction Wiltz where we spent the first night. The cycle-paths are in perfect condition and the views are very green and relaxing. On this first day from Gouvy to Wiltz, we cycled 48 kms with an elevation of 583 m.As it was the first time I had my Surly loaded for a multi-day trip, I realized the spokes where lacking tension. A general half a turn on the nipples did the trick. Other than that, it was an easy chilled day.
Wiltz to Vianden
This was definitely the most challenging part of the trip. After getting lost for the first hour, we quickly decided to shorten our itinerary. We had indeed planned a way longer day ride f oabout 80kms but due to a lot of elevation we agreed on stopping at Vianden, which ended up being a really cool town to spend the night. On this second day we rode 44 kms with an elevation of 795 mts It was well worth the effort because it was one of the most beautiful sections of the trip.
One of the finest castles in Europe !
Imagine arriving in a fairy tale city, with a castle overlooking one handsome cute little town. After a long day's ride, we were rewarded with a stunning view of the biggest castle of the Duchy of Luxembourg, one of the largest, finest and best restored feudal residences of the Roman and Gothic eras. The town is called Vianden.
Vianden: Nice town nice break
Vianden is a very nice town with a good touristic offer, plenty of restaurants, cafes and hotels. We treated ourselves to a hostel dorm, some cold beers and typical food. And a big ice cream sundae to top it all of. I mean we did burn some serious calories, so it's all good. Right?
Good bye Vianden, Hello Our.
We left this town behind to follow the river Our which empties into the Sauer. The ride gets easier along the river. The valley and river offer a new landscape. Along the riverside you'll find your pick of camping sites and other activities such as kayaking. On this third day we cycled 60 kms of pleasant riverside paths, switching from Germany to Luxembourg's side of the river. The total elevation was 500 mts. We spent the night at Wasserbillig.
The river Moselle and the vineyards
From Wasserbillig we then continued along the Sauer river which takes us to the beautiful large river Moselle that has a microclimate that is favorable for wine production. There are very nice vineyards which make for a new type of landscape where one might feel transported to a mediterranean country, specially on a warm sunny day.
The last stretch
The last stretch meanders through forests, fields and small towns, on cycling paths or quiet roads. On this last (fourth) day of the trip we covered 65 kms from Wasserbilling to Bettembourg with an elevation of 490 mts.
We took a train from Brussels to Gouvy, it takes about 2,5 hours with a seven minute transfer in Liège. From Gouvy we started cycling. At the end of the trip we took a train from Bettembourg to Luxembourg city (about 15 mins) and from Luxembourg city back to Brussels (about 3,5 hours)
Supermarkets, shops, restaurants and cafes are easy to find along the route as well as campsites, hostels and hotels. In general it's an area well equipped for tourism.